Archive for October, 2011

and you thought you were just going for a burger…

I wonder if the Grazin’ Family was expecting the hub-bub?  I think not.  But people are talking (about food) and that’s good.

Sam Pratt just posted Comparative Burgerology, comparing the prices of burger and fries combos at a number of area restaurants.  It’s a simple clean comparison of prices. Love the name.

Mentioned is the cost of eating organic versus eating less expensive fast food.  It’s a tough battle, especially as most people are counting their pennies (yes, even the weekenders…).  Mark Bittman, who has gotten much more political about food in the past couple of years, just posted a letter in his opinion column in the New York Times: Hey Chef! Get With the Program!  This letter to chefs from a meat wholesaler addresses the “cost” of cheap modern food and whether those cheap ingredients are worth it.  It makes you pause.

Don’t get me wrong – there are certain processed foods that I just haven’t been able to shake (I have a fixation with unnaturally orange “foods” right now…).  But then if you watch Food Inc. a time or two, you’ll want to chuck everything and move to a farm in Vermont (or, er, Columbia County) and raise your own food.  This film features the input of Michael Pollan (a chief food rabble-rouser), Joel Salatin and Eric Schlosser, among others.

Slow Food USA is “Supporting Good, Clean and Fair Food”, expanding the conversation in so many directions (like, will the new Girl Scouts Locavore Badge affect the cookies?!?!?).

Closer to home, the Etsy blog did a feature on someone bringing food production home with Breaking Local Bread: Wild Hive Farm.   Don Lewis brought wheat production, milling, baking back to the Hudson Valley Wild Hive Cafe/Bakery/Farm/Etc. because he thought it could be done, tastes better and is better.  (They mill a lovely polenta as well.)  Toward the end of the piece, with small smile, the Don sums up his work with two very powerful words: Bread Power.

Food is politics and you are voting with every bite you eat.

milk (Ronnybrook Farm) on film

The Big Table, the first episode of a documentary on food production,  features the Ronnybrook Farm dairy operation in Ancramdale.  It debuted at the wrap-up of the NYC Food Film Festival last weekend.   It quietly focused on the life of a farm family producing milk.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry.

I couldn’t swing the film fest, but I will continue to add their milk (from re-usable glass bottles) to my coffee and eat their delicious ice cream when I am too lazy to make my own…

A very enlightening article on milk came out recently in Mother Earth News online, “The Astonishing Story of Real Milk”.  I strongly recommend it should you have any questions about the dairy industry or the milk you drink.

Then think of the Ronnybrook family and their cows.

Acres Co-op Market meeting this week

The next Acres Co-op Market meeting is coming up this Wednesday, October 19th, 6:00pm at the Christ Church Episcopal Parish Hall at 431 Union Street.  Join in to find out more about fundraising efforts, the latest news on planning and to socialize with others wanting clean, competitively priced food in our community.  Also, be sure to check out the website (link above) and the Facebook page to find good info like a potential floor plan, fundraising progress, a story on a recent failed co-op (and how we can avoid that fate).

They are actively seeking members now – if you have not yet sent in your membership application, you can find it here.

I’m a member – are you?

sheep & wool fest AND it’s cider week

It is supposed to stop raining tomorrow…  What are you going to do?

Image courtesy of sheep & wool fest site

Head south on 9 to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck and visit the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival 2011.  It is amazing.  It will help if you like yarn.  And sheep.  And all wooly things in between.  The colors and textures of the fluff and roving and yarn are gorgeous.  Since I really only do a rudimentary crochet (lots of afghans in my house), I really go for the sheep or goat people that sell cheese…  Take the kids, meet the animals and if you’re lucky the chicken pot pie people will be there – get in line early, before they run out.

Starting Sunday, October 16 and running through the week, it’s Cider Week!  This is a new effort to keep the apple industry alive.  I love it when the call to action is Join the Hard Cider Revival!  They even have a friendly Find Cider list which includes several fine establishments in Hudson.

  • NYS Sheep and Wool Festival
  • Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck NY
  • Saturday October 15 – Sunday October 16
  • Tickets available at the gate
  • Cider Week
  • Hudson Valley
  • October 16 – 23

a little spotlight on Hudson Red

The estimable Murray’s Cheese in NYC spotlighted Twin Maple Farm’s Hudson Red cheese today.  Doug, the original Hudson farmers’ market cheese guy, is no longer their cheese maker, but the cheese is still good.  The image above shows it slathered on a local baguette a short while back.   It did not last long.  Yum.

Don’t buy it on Amazon – you should be able to find it this weekend at the Hudson Farmers’ Market.

chili on a chilly weekend

It’s ArtsWalk weekend in Hudson – and it looks like it won’t be raining!!!

On Saturday October 8, after admiring art in the windows up and down Warren Street, head on down to the riverfront park for the 5th Annual Chili Contest.  For $5 you get admission to the event, tastings of the chili and a bean – to vote for the best chili.

You can still sign up to enter your fabulous chili – until Thursday October 6 (tomorrow!).  You will need to bring about 2 crockpots’ worth of chili to the event.  First prize is $500!   Entry form here.

For those who just want to eat:

  • Hudson Valley Bounty Chili Contest
  • Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, Hudson NY
  • Saturday, October 8
  • 12pm – 4pm (judging ends at 3:30pm and they will surely run out of chili by then)
  • $5 (free for those 5 and under)

Your vote counts!

Grazin’ Diner is open – a friendly burger

It’s a friendly burger.

I was crazy excited about Grazin’ Diner opening up (I really need to get out more, it seems).  Part of it is about having the cool looking diner on the park open again, part of it was about the sustainability of the ingredients, but mostly I think it’s because it’s a “regular” restaurant that is all about local sourcing.  Grazin’ does use a Vermont cheese, but it’s a good one (Consider Bardwell) and it’s just the next state over, right?

The menu is burgers and sandwiches for the most part (meat from Grazin’ Angus Acres, natch; buns from Hawthorne Valley Farm), which come with pickled veggies and lovely fries.  It’s a full-meal deal.  There are a few selections for vegetarians (a portobello burger, a grilled cheese, soup, a hearty salad). If you are still hungry, there are milkshakes (dairy from Milk Thistle Farm) and “grandma’s goodies” – a selection of simple cakes and cookies. The food looks plain and good and tastes clean and good.  The service is friendly, starting with Chip welcoming you at the door.  The diner itself?  Clean, simple and modern.  And in a nod to their ethics, there are no dying cut flowers, but little crocks of growing green grass.  I should put them in charge of my lawn.

They are open Thursdays – Saturdays for lunch and dinner.  On Sundays it’s brunch.  I heard our server explain to the next table over that they’re not serving breakfast during the week because they might run out of eggs.

  • Grazin’ Diner
  • 717 Warren Street
  • Thursdays – Sundays

This is supporting your local farmer.